The Chicago Zoological Society

The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature.

Since the opening of Brookfield Zoo in 1934, the Society has had an international reputation for taking a cutting-edge role in animal care and conservation of the natural world. Among its historical firsts are indoor multispecies exhibits, zoo nutrition residencies, methods for animal husbandry, and medical care that includes successful brain surgery for a gorilla.

Today, there is an increasing need for conservation leaders to guide, teach, and motivate people to protect the world’s threatened wildlife and ecosystems. In addition to conservationists, the Society inspires and engages children, students, teachers, and others among the general public to make a positive impact on the natural world around them. From protecting regional wilderness to creating environmental stewardship through zoo interactions and educational opportunities, from guiding future scientists to pioneering global conservation efforts, the Society sits at the apex of care for animals and their habitats.

In building its legacy of animal care and compassion, the Society has launched two new centers: the Center for Conservation Leadership and the Center for the Science of Animal Welfare (CSAW). These innovative learning and research hubs will integrate a wide variety of disciplines, changing the way animal conservation issues are considered and advancing the science of “animal-directed” care around the world.

Support the Chicago Zoological Society

The global conservation efforts of the Chicago Zoological Society would not be possible without your support. Working together, we can ensure that future generations have the opportunity to enjoy wild things and wild places. Here are some ways to help:
  • Contribute to the Annual Fund.
  • Join as a Member. Choose from many options and visit often with your friends and family!
  • Join the exclusive Bison Circle Society.
  • Ensure and endow the zoo’s future through the Planned Giving program.
  • Pay tribute to an individual or an organization with an honor or memorial gift. To make an honor or memorial gift, please call 708-688-8317.
  • Share the care of the zoo’s animals through the Share the Care Program.
  • Employee-Matching Gifts offer a way to increase the impact of your philanthropic support!
  • Establish a relationship with the zoo through Sponsorship.

Find Out How You Can Take Action for Conservation.  Donate to the Chicago Zoological Conservation Fund.